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|Nickname(s)||なでしこジャパン (Nadeshiko Japan)|
|Association||Japan Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||EAFF (East Asia)|
|Head coach||Asako Takakura|
|Most caps||Homare Sawa (205)|
|Top scorer||Homare Sawa (83)|
|Current||8 1 (7 December 2018)|
|Highest||3 (December 2011)|
|Lowest||14 (July 2003)|
| Chinese Taipei 1–0 Japan |
(Hong Kong; 7 June 1981)
| Japan 21–0 Guam |
(Guangzhou, China; 5 December 1997)
| United States 9–0 Japan |
(Charlotte, United States; 29 April 1999)
|Appearances||8 (first in 1991)|
|Best result||Champions (2011)|
|Appearances||4 (first in 1996)|
|Best result||Runners-up (2012)|
|Appearances||16 (first in 1977)|
|Best result||Champions (2014, 2018)|
The Japan women's national football team, or Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン), represents Japan in association football and is run by the Japan Football Association (JFA). It is the most successful women's national team from the Asian Football Confederation. Its highest ranking in the FIFA Women's World Rankings is 3rd (December 2011).
The team were champions in the 2008 and 2010 EAFF Women's Football Championships, and won the gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games. Japan defeated the United States in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, thus claiming their first FIFA Women's World Cup title, becoming the first Asian team to do so and only the fourth women's world champions. It won silver medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, making it the only Asian team to have three combined medals from international championships. They also won the gold medal at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup. The team most recently won the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup and the 2018 Asian Games.
During the 1970s, the number of women football players and teams increased in Japan, and teams made up regional leagues in various parts of Japan. In 1980, "All-Japan Women's Football Championship" was held, and in 1981 the Japan women's national football team played its first international match in Hong Kong. The team continued playing matches in Japan or in other countries, but it was not an "All Japan" national team but a temporarily organized team selected from the regional leagues.
In 1986, Ryohei Suzuki was selected as the coach of the Japan women's national football team, the first "All Japan" team. In 1989, the "Japan Women's Football League" (abbreviated to "L. League") was established, and the women’s national team qualified for the "1991 FIFA Women's World Cup" in China.
Japan women's national football team attended various championship tournaments such as the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup which had made the national team and the L. League very popular. However, in 1999, Japan failed to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics, and this helped to cause the withdrawal of a series of teams from the L. League. Japanese women’s football was on the verge of decline.
In August 2002, the Japan Football Association appointed Eiji Ueda, who had been coach for the Macau national football team, as the new head coach. Officials expected a revitalization of women's football and planned a team reorganization, aiming for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The team at first went through a losing streak, but Ueda gradually improved the team, and it eventually gained wide support in Japan. In particular, a game against Korea DPR, which decided who would participate in the 2004 Olympics, not only made fans rush to the National Stadium but also was widely watched on TV.
Following the increase in public interest in women's football in Japan, the JFA organized a public contest to select a nickname for the team. "Nadeshiko Japan" was chosen from among about 2,700 entries and was announced on 7 July 2004. "Nadeshiko", a kind of dianthus, comes from the phrase "Yamato Nadeshiko" (大和撫子, "ideal Japanese woman").
Japan was dropped with Germany, Canada and Argentina during 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. Beginning by a 6–0 thrash to newcomer Argentina, but later Japan fell on 0–3 loss to later champion Germany, and 1–3 to Canada, who later won 4th place.
Again, in 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup held in China, they again faced Germany, Argentina and England. They started with a 2–2 draw over England, before beating Argentina 1–0 after 90'. But a 0–2 loss over reigning champion Germany again eliminated Japan from the group stage. Japan's disappointing campaign through two decisive Women's World Cup would not have expected to lead to a 2011 triumph.
Japan qualified for the finals by finishing third in the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup. After finishing second in their group behind England, Nadeshiko Japan beat two-time defending champion and host nation Germany 1–0 in the quarterfinals, before easily defeating Sweden 3–1 to reach the final.
After the final game finished 2–2 after extra time, Japan beat the United States 3–1 in a penalty shootout, becoming the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup, and the first Asian team to win a senior FIFA title. It came right after men's team won the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, marked their most successful year in Japanese football.
Japan qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics by finishing first in the Asian qualifier in September 2011, only 6 weeks after winning the Women's World Cup. At the Olympics, after finishing second in their group behind Sweden, Nadeshiko Japan defeated Brazil 2–0 in the quarterfinals, followed by a 2–1 victory over France, whom Nadeshiko had lost to in a friendly match right before the Olympics, to reach the final.
In a rematch of the World Cup final, Japan was defeated in the Olympic final by a score of 1–2 against the United States, allowing two goals to Carli Lloyd in the 8th and 54th minutes. Yūki Ōgimi scored the lone goal for Japan.
Despite having won a FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011, Japan entered the 2014 Asian Cup having never previously won the tournament. They were drawn with Asia's Queen Australia, host Vietnam and newcomer Jordan. Their first match in the group stage of the tournament resulted in a 2–2 draw against the defending champion Australia. Also in the group stage, Japan upset host Vietnam by a 4–0 win before defeating Jordan with a 7–0 win to finish first with a higher goal difference.
In the semi-final, Japan beat seven-time champions China 2–1 after 120'. In the final, they met Australia once again and successfully earned a 1–0 win with Azusa Iwashimizu's goal. This marked the first time for Japan to become "Queen of Asia". They became the first Asian team to subsequently win both the FIFA Women's World Cup and AFC Women's Asian Cup. Because of their top placement in the tournament, Japan, Australia, China, South Korea and newcomer Thailand secured their spot at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup to be played in Canada the following year.
Japan, then fourth in the world, was drawn into Group C for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, with tournament debutants Ecuador, Switzerland, and Cameroon. Nadeshiko Japan won all three games, securing passage into the Round of 16, where they drew yet another tournament debutant in the Netherlands. Saori Ariyoshi and Mizuho Sakaguchi scored goals for Japan, and they ultimately survived a couple of nervy moments to get into the quarterfinals. Against Australia, Japan once again used their technical possession game to frustrate The Matildas and negate their speed. Mana Iwabuchi notched the only goal of the game three minutes from time to send Japan to the semifinals.
Against England in the semifinals, Nadeshiko Japan was able to survive against the tenacious Lionesses, as the two teams traded goals from the penalty spot (Aya Miyama for Japan, Fara Williams for England). Deadlocked from the 40th minute on, Japan got a truly fortunate break as English centre back Laura Bassett, in trying to clear out a Japan cross, ended up scoring an own-goal at the death. This set up a rematch with the United States from the 2011 Women's World Cup.
Unfortunately for Japan, the Americans came out flying and scored four goals in the first 16 minutes of the match, with American midfielder Carli Lloyd scoring a hat trick in the process. Yuki Ogimi brought Japan one back in the 27th minute, and an own goal from Julie Johnston halved the American lead, but Tobin Heath put the final touch on the United States' third Women's World Cup victory.
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|1 April 2018 MS&AD Cup||Japan||7–1||Ghana||Isahaya|
|Report||Ayieyam 24'||Stadium: Transcosmos Stadium Nagasaki|
|7 April 2018 Asian Cup – GS||Japan||4–0||Vietnam||Amman, Jordan|
|16:45 EEST||Yokoyama 3'
|Report||Stadium: King Abdullah II Stadium|
|10 April 2018 Asian Cup – GS||Japan||0–0||South Korea||Amman, Jordan|
|16:45 EEST||Report||Stadium: Amman International Stadium|
|13 April 2018 Asian Cup – GS||Japan||1–1||Australia||Amman, Jordan|
|16:45 EEST||Sakaguchi 63'||Report||Kerr 86'||Stadium: Amman International Stadium|
|17 April 2018 Asian Cup – SF||Japan||3–1||China PR||Amman, Jordan|
|20:00 EEST||Iwabuchi 39'
Yokoyama 85', 88'
|Stadium: King Abdullah II Stadium|
|20 April 2018 Asian Cup – F||Japan||1–0||Australia||Amman, Jordan|
|20:00 EEST||Kumagai 14'
|Report||Kellond-Knight 80'||Stadium: Amman International Stadium|
|10 June 2018 Friendly||New Zealand||1–3||Japan||Wellington, New Zealand|
|15:10 NZST||Moore 18'||Report||Tanaka 17', 34', 44'
|Stadium: Westpac Stadium|
|26 July 2018 Tournament of Nations||United States||4–2||Japan||Kansas City, United States|
|18:00 CDT||Morgan 18', 26', 56'
|Stadium: Children's Mercy Park|
|29 July 2018 Tournament of Nations||Japan||1–2||Brazil||East Hartford, United States|
|16:15 EDT||Masuya 90+3'||Report||Marta 75'
|Stadium: Pratt & Whitney Stadium|
|2 August 2018 Tournament of Nations||Japan||0–2||Australia||Bridgeview, United States|
|16:45 CDT||Report||Kennedy 47'
|Stadium: Toyota Park|
|16 August 2018 Asian Games – GS||Japan||2–0||Thailand||Palembang, Indonesia|
|18:30 IWST||Iwabuchi 33'
|Report||Stadium: Bumi Sriwijaya Stadium|
|21 August 2018 Asian Games – GS||Japan||7–0||Vietnam||Palembang, Indonesia|
|15:00 IWST||Sugasawa 5', 77'
Tanaka 52', 88'
|Report||Stadium: Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium|
|25 August 2018 Asian Games – QF||Japan||2–1||North Korea||Palembang, Indonesia|
|16:00 IWST||Sakaguchi 36'
|Report||N. Kim 71' (pen.)||Stadium: Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium|
|28 August 2018 Asian Games – SF||Japan||2–1||South Korea||Palembang, Indonesia|
|16:00 IWST||Sugasawa 5'
Lim 86' (o.g.)
|Report||M. Lee 68'||Stadium: Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium|
|31 August 2018 Asian Games – F||Japan||1–0||China PR||Palembang, Indonesia|
|19:30 IWST||Sugasawa 90'||Report||Han 87'||Stadium: Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium|
|11 November 2018 Friendly||Japan||4–1||Norway||Tottori|
Iwabuchi 27', 55'
|Report||Gausdal 81'||Stadium: Tottori Bank Bird Stadium|
Referee: Hong Yu
|28 February 2019 SheBelieves Cup||United States||2–2||Japan||Chester, United States|
|Stadium: Talen Energy Stadium|
Referee: Melissa Borjas (Honduras)
|3 March 2019 SheBelieves Cup||Japan||3–1||Brazil||Nashville, United States|
|Report||Debinha 57'||Stadium: Nissan Stadium|
|6 March 2019 SheBelieves Cup||Japan||0–3||England||Tampa, United States|
|Stadium: Raymond James Stadium|
Caps and goals as of 6 March 2019 after match against England.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|21||GK||Erina Yamane (山根 恵里奈)||20 December 1990||26||0||Real Betis|
|1||GK||Rei Takenaka (武仲 麗依)||18 May 1992||0||0||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|18||GK||Ayaka Saitō (齊藤 彩佳)||26 August 1991||0||0||Vegalta Sendai|
|3||DF||Aya Sameshima (鮫島 彩)||16 June 1987||106||5||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|6||DF||Saori Ariyoshi (有吉 佐織)||1 November 1987||65||1||Nippon TV Beleza|
|4||DF||Saki Kumagai (熊谷 紗希) (captain)||17 October 1990||101||0||Lyon|
|22||DF||Risa Shimizu (清水 梨紗)||15 June 1996||21||0||Nippon TV Beleza|
|12||DF||Risako Oga (大賀 理紗子)||4 January 1997||3||0||Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara|
|5||DF||Nana Ichise (市瀬 菜々)||4 August 1997||15||0||Vegalta Sendai|
|24||DF||Asato Miyagawa (宮川 麻都)||24 February 1998||2||0||Nippon TV Beleza|
|23||DF||Moeka Minami (南 萌華)||7 December 1998||2||0||Urawa Red Diamonds|
|2||MF||Rumi Utsugi (宇津木 瑠美)||5 December 1988||112||6||Reign FC|
|7||MF||Emi Nakajima (中島 依美)||27 September 1990||67||14||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|8||MF||Moeno Sakaguchi (阪口 萌乃)||4 June 1992||12||1||Albirex Niigata|
|16||MF||Arisa Matsubara (松原 有沙)||1 May 1995||2||0||Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara|
|14||MF||Yui Hasegawa (長谷川 唯)||29 January 1997||33||5||Nippon TV Beleza|
|9||MF||Hina Sugita (杉田 妃和)||31 January 1997||4||0||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|17||MF||Narumi Miura (三浦 成美)||3 July 1997||6||0||Nippon TV Beleza|
|20||FW||Kumi Yokoyama (横山 久美)||13 August 1993||38||16||AC Nagano Parceiro|
|15||FW||Yuka Momiki (籾木 結花)||9 April 1996||24||8||Nippon TV Beleza|
|13||FW||Mayu Ikejiri (池尻 茉由)||19 December 1996||3||0||Suwon WFC|
|11||FW||Rikako Kobayashi (小林 里歌子)||21 July 1997||3||1||Nippon TV Beleza|
|19||FW||Jun Endo (遠藤 純)||24 May 2000||3||0||Nippon TV Beleza|
The following players have been called up to the Japan squad in the past 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Sakiko Ikeda (池田 咲紀子)||8 September 1992||14||0||Urawa Red Diamonds||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|GK||Ayaka Yamashita (山下 杏也加)||29 September 1995||25||0||Nippon TV Beleza||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|GK||Chika Hirao (平尾 知佳)||31 December 1996||1||0||Albirex Niigata||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|DF||Shiori Miyake (三宅 史織)||13 October 1995||17||0||INAC Kobe Leonessa||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|DF||Nanami Kitamura (北村 菜々美)||25 November 1999||0||0||Cerezo Osaka Sakai||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|DF||Aimi Kunitake (國武 愛美)||10 January 1997||3||0||Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|DF||Hikari Takagi (高木 ひかり)||21 May 1993||19||1||Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara||2018 Asian Games|
|DF||Mayo Doko (土光 真代)||3 May 1996||1||0||Nippon TV Beleza||2018 Tournament of Nations|
|MF||Mizuho Sakaguchi (阪口 夢穂)||15 October 1987||124||29||Nippon TV Beleza||2019 SheBelieves Cup PRE|
|MF||Fuka Nagano (長野 風花)||9 March 1999||1||0||Chifure AS Elfen Saitama||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|MF||Hinata Miyazawa (宮澤 ひなた)||21 November 1999||1||0||Nippon TV Beleza||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|MF||Nahomi Kawasumi (川澄 奈穂美)||23 September 1985||90||20||Sky Blue FC||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|MF||Hikaru Naomoto (猶本 光)||3 March 1994||18||0||SC Freiburg||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|MF||Yu Nakasato (中里 優)||14 July 1994||20||0||Nippon TV Beleza||2018 Asian Games|
|MF||Rin Sumida (隅田 凜)||12 January 1996||22||0||Nippon TV Beleza||2018 Asian Games|
|MF||Madoka Haji (櫨 まどか)||8 July 1988||7||0||Vegalta Sendai||v. New Zealand, 10 June 2018|
|FW||Yuika Sugasawa (菅澤 優衣香)||5 October 1990||60||17||Urawa Red Diamonds||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|FW||Mina Tanaka (田中 美南)||28 April 1994||33||14||Nippon TV Beleza||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|FW||Riko Ueki (植木 理子)||30 July 1999||0||0||Nippon TV Beleza||Training camp, 31 January–4 February 2019|
|FW||Mana Iwabuchi (岩渕 真奈)||18 March 1993||61||20||INAC Kobe Leonessa||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|FW||Rika Masuya (増矢 理花)||14 September 1995||27||6||INAC Kobe Leonessa||v. Norway, 11 November 2018|
|AFC Women's Asian Cup record|
|Hosts / Year||Result||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA||GD|
|1975||Did not enter|
|1979||Did not enter|
|1983||Did not enter|
|Asian Games record|
|Hosts / Year||Result||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA||GD|
|EAFF Women's Football Championship record|
|Hosts / Year||Result||Pld||W||D*||L||GF||GA||GD|
|1981 Asian Championship||Round 1||0–1||Chinese Taipei|
|1–0||Indonesia||3 / 4|
|1986 Asian Championship||Round 1||0–2||China|
|10–0||Malaysia||2 / 3|
|1989 Asian Championship||Round 1||3–0||Hong Kong|
|14–0||Nepal||1 / 4|
|Third place||9–0||Hong Kong|
|1990 Asian Games||Main Round||0–5||China|
|3–1||Chinese Taipei||2 / 6|
|1991 Asian Championship||Round 1||1–0||North Korea|
|12–0||Singapore||1 / 5|
|Semifinals||0–0 (PSO: 5–4)||Chinese Taipei|
|1991 World Cup||Round 1||0–1||Brazil|
|1993 Asian Championship||Round 1||6–1||Chinese Taipei|
|4–0||Hong Kong||1 / 4|
|1994 Asian Games||Round 1||1–1||China|
|5–0||South Korea||2 / 4|
|1995 World Cup||Round 1||0–1||Germany|
|0–2||Sweden||3 / 4|
|1995 Asian Championship||Round 1||1–0||South Korea|
|17–0||Uzbekistan||1 / 4|
|1996 Summer Olympics||Round 1||2–3||Germany|
|0–4||Norway||4 / 4|
|1997 Asian Championship||Round 1||21–0||Guam|
|9–0||Hong Kong||1 / 4|
|Third place||2–0||Chinese Taipei|
|1998 Asian Games||Round 1||6–0||Thailand|
|8–0||Vietnam||2 / 4|
|Third place||2–1||Chinese Taipei|
|1999 World Cup||Round 1||1–1||Canada|
|0–4||Norway||4 / 4|
|1999 Asian Championship||Round 1||9–0||Thailand|
|6–0||Philippines||1 / 5|
|Third place||2–3||North Korea|
|2001 Asian Championship||Round 1||14–0||Singapore|
|3–1||Vietnam||2 / 5|
|2002 Asian Games||Main round||0–1||North Korea|
|2–0||Chinese Taipei||3 / 6|
|2003 Asian Championship||Round 1||15–0||Philippines|
|5–0||Chinese Taipei||1 / 5|
|Third place||0–1||South Korea|
|2003 World Cup||Round 1||6–0||Argentina|
|1–3||Canada||3 / 4|
|2004 Summer Olympics||Round 1||1–0||Sweden|
|0–1||Nigeria||3 / 3|
|Quarterfinals||1–2||United States||Awarded the Fair Play Award|
|2005 East Asian Championship||Main Round||0–1||North Korea|
|0–0||South Korea||3 / 4||Awarded the Fair Play Award|
|2006 Asian Games||Round 1||13–0||Jordan|
|1–0||China||1 / 4|
|Final||0–0 (PSO: 2–4)||South Korea|
|2006 Asian Championship||Round 1||5–0||Vietnam|
|1–0||China||1 / 4|
|Third place||2–3||North Korea|
|2007 World Cup||Round 1||2–2||England|
|0–2||Germany||3 / 4|
|2008 East Asian Championship||Main Round||3–2||North Korea|
|3–0||China||1 / 4|
|2008 Asian Cup||Round 1||1–3||South Korea|
|3–1||Australia||1 / 4|
|2008 Summer Olympics qualification||Final round||2–0||Vietnam|
|6–1||South Korea||1 / 4|
|2008 Summer Olympics||Round 1||2–2||New Zealand|
|5–1||Norway||3 / 4|
|2010 East Asian Championship||Round 1||2–0||New Zealand|
|2–1||South Korea||1 / 4|
|2010 Asian Cup||Round 1||8–0||Myanmar|
|2–1||North Korea||1 / 4|
|2010 Asian Games||Round 1||4–0||Thailand|
|0–0||North Korea||1 / 3|
|2011 World Cup||Round 1||2–1||New Zealand|
|0–2||England||2 / 4|
|Final||2–2 (PSO: 3–1)||United States||Awarded the Fair Play Award|
|2012 Summer Olympics qualification||Final round||3–0||Thailand|
|2012 Summer Olympics||Round 1||2–1||Canada|
|0–0||South Africa||2 / 4|
|2013 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup||Final round||2–0||China|
|2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup||Round 1||2–2||Australia|
|7–0||Jordan||1 / 4|
|2015 World Cup||Round 1||1–0||Switzerland|
|1–0||Ecuador||1 / 4|
|Round of 16||2–1||Netherlands|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Japan women's national association football team.|
| World Champions
2011 (first title)
2015 United States
| Asian Champions
2014 (first title)
2018 (2nd title)